An exhibition titled Charcoal unveiled at ArtCiti Gallery featuring works of renowned artists including Abrar Ahmad, Ali Abbas, Ali Azmat, A.Q. Arif, A.S. Rind, Farrukh Shahab, Mansoor Rahi, Mugheez Riaz and M. Rustam Khan.
From among an artist’s drawing media, charcoal is one of the oldest. It is still commonly used today, either in compressed powder or stick forms. There are many fantastic modern artists that are using charcoal to create great works of art with startling contrasts. Some very talented artists have created amazing portraits in charcoal that look so much better than photographs.
Several Renaissance artists have used charcoal for their full-scale preparatory sketches for fresco or panel mural paintings. Because of the softness of its drawing edge, charcoal tends to favour broad, vigorous draftsmanship, with an emphasis on mass and movement rather than on linear precision.
These charcoal paintings present versatile images; some with their unique texture that leaves marks less permanent than other art media. A mix of light and intensely black, the charcoal images are often vulnerable to the viewers.
The smooth transitions between darker and lighter areas of a drawing in A.Q Arif portraits are incredibly astonishing with detailing done with perfection. Old age men and womenfolk of rural settings predominantly shout out from his paintings. The works of Ali Azmat are cleaner with linear lines and distinct images. The portrait of a girl with a docile look and simplicity adorning her image is an expression of brilliant charcoal drawing. Farrukh Shahab’s portraits are more of an abstract with hidden meanings and obscure shapes apparently concealed in shadows of black. He explores the impact of light and dark shades.
Mansoor Rahi’s images are beautiful scenes with vague images of faces, most of them in abstract format. Similarly Mughees Riaz’s dense images are dark and alluring. Rustam Khan’s portraits are happy, some weather-beaten with a stark creative concentration. Rind’s portraits with calligraphy are remarkable with three dimensional forms clearly visible. The dramatic posture of his images provides a brilliant narrative. Abrar Ahmad’s portraits are striking and speak a silent decorum of sociality. Ali Abbas experiments in shadowy work with subdued messages conveyed through his images.